Today is the feast day of St. Bernardine of Siena (d. 1444). He was a Franciscan ascetic, priest, and preacher. For more than three decades, St Bernardine proclaimed Christ throughout Italy, and initiated the religious revival of the early fifteenth century. Large crowds came to hear him speak. It was said that factions were reconciled by his counsel and that miracles commonly occurred through his prayers. Bonfires were held at his sermon sites, where people were encouraged to burn objects of temptation (e.g. books of spells, immodest clothes, books of heresy, etc.). In 1425, he preached every day for seven weeks in Siena.
He is especially remembered for his devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, the Holy Eucharist, and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Regarding the Immaculate Mary, Saint Bernardine teaches us: "Every grace granted to man has three degrees in order; for by God it is communicated to Christ, from Christ it passes to the Virgin, and from the Virgin it descends to us."
Saint Bernardine, pray for us!